Penn-Trafford girls shooting for more consistency on offense

Saturday, November 26, 2022 | 12:01 PM

Making open shots. That’s one of the biggest things the Penn-Trafford girls basketball team will be working on this season, veteran coach John Giannikas said.

“Last year, we were hot and cold from the outside,” he said. “If we shoot better, we’ll be pretty good.”

The Warriors graduated only one starter — Maura Suman — from last year’s group that finished 9-5 in Section 1-6A and 12-10 overall. The Warriors lost to Upper St. Clair in the opening round of the playoffs.

Replacing Suman, who is playing at Edinboro, won’t be easy.

Giannikas said she will be hard to replace because of her leadership. She also averaged 11 points.

“Maura kept us together,” Giannikas said. “We have to look for new leaders.”

Penn-Trafford returns six players who saw starting minutes last season: senior guard Kylee Piconi, sophomore forward Lauren Marton, junior guard Olivia Pepple, sophomore forward Kamryn Pieper, senior guard Lillian Palladino and senior forward Maddy Setzenfand.

Pepple, who also averaged 11 points, will be one of the leaders. Giannikas said she is receiving some Division I looks.

“I look for Olivia to be much improved,” Giannikas said. “We have a lot of players that saw a lot of minutes. I’m eager to see how much they’ve improved.”

Freshman Torrie DeStefano is another player Giannikas said he expects to help.

“Torrie has picked up things quickly,” Giannikas said. “She’s very athletic, and she’s looking good on the court.”

Giannikas said he’s expecting every player to be much improved as the Warriors face new competition in Section 3-5A.

The teams in the new section are Albert Gallatin, Connellsville, Latrobe, McKeesport, Oakland Catholic and Thomas Jefferson.

Giannikas knows Oakland Catholic, McKeesport, Latrobe and Thomas Jefferson will be difficult games, but playing in Class 6A the past few seasons will leave the Warriors battled tested.

“It’s a solid section,” Giannikas said.

Penn-Trafford tips off the season at Baldwin on Friday and Peters Township on Saturday.

Other nonsection games include Norwin, Hempfield, Penn Hills, Woodland Hills, Kiski Area, Montour, Gateway and Franklin Regional.

At a glance

Coach: John Giannikas

Last year’s record: 9-5 (Section 1-6A, 12-10 overall)

Returning starters: Kylee Piconi (Sr., G), Lauren Marton (So., F), Oliva Pepple (Jr., G), Kamryn Pieper (So., F), Lillian Palladino (Sr., G), Maddy Setzenfand (Sr., F)

Newcomers: Bryana Bennett (So., G), Bella Klobucar (So., G), Paige Temple (So., G), Torrie DeStefano (Fr., F)

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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